William Robson, Baron Robson

William Snowdon Robson, Baron Robson, GCMG, PC (10 September 1852 – 11 September 1918) was an English lawyer, judge and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons twice between 1885 and 1910.

William Robson c1895
William Robson c1905
"The Solicitor General"
Robson as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, January 1906

Background and early lifeEdit

Robson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the son of Robert Robson merchant of Newcastle-on-Tyne and his wife Emily Jane Snowden, daughter of William Snowden of Newcastle-on-Tyne.[1] He was educated at Newcastle and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[2] He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1880 and became a Queen's Counsel in 1892.[3]

Political careerEdit

At the 1885 general election Robson was elected Member of Parliament for Bow and Bromley and held the seat until 1886.[4] At the 1895 general election he was elected MP for South Shields and held the seat until 1910.[5]


He was the Solicitor General from 1905 to 1908.[3] Upon his appointment, he was knighted the same year.[6] In 1908, he was promoted to be the Attorney General from 1908 to 1910. On 19 July 1910, he was sworn of the Privy Council.[7]


On 12 October 1910, Robson was made a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and a life peer with the title Baron Robson, of Jesmond in the County of Northumberland.[8] He was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George as a Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in the 1911 New Year Honours for "services in connection with the North Atlantic Coast Fisheries Arbitration".[9] He resigned as Lord of Appeal two years later.


Robson married Catharine Burge, daughter of Charles Burge, of Portland Place, London on 26 May 1887. They had a family.

Robson died, aged 66, at Telham Court, Battle, Sussex.


Coat of arms of William Robson, Baron Robson
Blazon not available. Tinctures unknown.
Fac Et Spera[10]


  1. ^ Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1886
  2. ^ "Robson, William Snowdon (RB875WS)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ a b   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Robson, William Snowdon Robson, Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 32 (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company. p. 288.
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 4)
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 4)
  6. ^ "No. 27865". The London Gazette. 19 December 1905. p. 9084.
  7. ^ "No. 28396". The London Gazette. 19 July 1910. p. 5137.
  8. ^ "No. 28425". The London Gazette. 18 October 1910. p. 7321.
  9. ^ "No. 28452". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 January 1911. p. 2.
  10. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench. 1918.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Bow and Bromley
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for South Shields
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Preceded by Attorney General for England and Wales
Succeeded by